Vaartha Patrikalu Essaytyper

Mad Men’s “fat” Betty shares cream tea 

Welcome to Tea Tuesday, the day of the week I focus on the time honored ritual of gathering for tea and a chat.  I often find that a great conversation, like a good meal, takes on a wonderful life of its own, a delicious blend of flavours: personal accounts, popular media and topical news events. Today, we use the tea ritual as a common thread to connect seemingly random thoughts. I offer a new recipe each week, so check out and bookmark Online Guide to Afternoon Tea to keep up to date.  

Time Travel TV:  Downton vs. Mad Men

I love the Post Edwardian period of Downton Abbey, but I also find time travel to the 1960s of Mad Men fame to be enjoyable as well.  I thought it interesting to see this scene from E3 where Don’s ex wife Betty Francis shares cream tea with a friend.  In  her new life she is married to old money, so makes sense that she would have  adopted the traditions of taking tea.  I am unsure of how long January Jones will have to wear the fat suit this season, but kudos to her on-screen husband Henry who loves her all the same.  Off screen, fans are abuzz about whether they love fat or skinny Betty best.  Perhaps the shakeup has something to do with some of the rivalry between the two shows.

After all, this past September, Downton beat Mad Men for the Guinness Book of World Records ‘most critically acclaimed television show’, becoming the first British show to do so.  Surprisingly, men are tuning into Downton Abbey over Mad Men. Ratings for season two of Downton were up 100% among men 18-to-34-years-old. They were also up 100% for men 35-49.

Today’s Connection to Titanic

Exactly 100 years ago today, the famous Titanic set sail for its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, with 2,200 passengers and crew.  Four days later Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank; 1500 people died and 700 survived.  The event marked the starting point for Downton Abbey.  The fictional Crawley family lost 2 heirs, and as you have likely seen and heard this week, famous families like Astors were affected, and entire families in steerage were wiped out.  Myself, I think of Charles Hays, head of the Grand Trunk railway, who founded Prince Rupert, BC, where my family annually goes fishing for salmon. Had he lived, his great plans for the deep sea port might have come to fruition a hundred years sooner.

Titanic Tribute Dairy Edition

Domo Cream Separator based on centifugal force

If you have been following along for the past couple of months you may have noticed a great deal of attention I have paid to the last menus of Titanic.  For students of food history, the food on board provides the ultimate example of dining extravagances of Post Edwardians.  Because of the significance of this event, great care has been taken to preserve the menus and recreate them in honor of the passengers and crew.

I have almost finished working through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd class (steerage) menus.  Today I am focusing on dairy.  I was inspired by an email I received from Irish Dairy Board who markets great dairy products in the US under Kerrygold; they are interested in some of my Titanic recipes for their new blog.

The mention of dairy products invariably brings back childhood memories of having a milk cow which required milking twice a day.  Our fridge was filled with 4 litre ice cream containers filled with unpasteurized milk, a thick layer of cream floating on the top.  It was a challenge for an active family of five to drink that much milk, so mom took to making creamy butter, yoghurt, and my favorite, ice cream.  At some point, Dad managed to find a cream separator (pictured above) which was a much more efficient way of separating the milk from the cream.  This model is likely from the 40s, but they were invented at the turn of the century.  You poured milk into the large basin above and turned the crank which rang a bell until you reached 60 rotations a minute, the optimum speed for the multiple disks inside the machine.  You opened the spigot to let the milk come through and had catch containers for both milk and cream.  The milk cow is long gone, but the cream separator still holds a place of honor in my parent’s basement out on the farm.

Chocolate Painted Eclairs

Tiny eclairs are great for your tea tray

Eclairs were served in 1st class as the 10th sweet course.  It is also a popular item on tea trays around the world.

How to Make Eclairs Video

Here is a delightful how to video and recipe from Kathie Tyler’s Afternoon Tea.  You can find Kathie on public radio at for other afternoon tea recipes and lots of chat.

French and American Ice Cream

French ice cream was served alongside the eclairs in 1st Class, while American ice cream was part of the dessert course in 2nd Class.  The difference between the two is egg yolks found in the French version.

Cooks on Titanic were lucky to have electric driven ice cream makers to make the freezing process less labour intensive. They also would have had freezer compartments to store ice cream.  Most homes in this period did not have refrigeration, so you had to make and eat the ice cream right away. Sad, but true!  If you did not have servants, you would take turns at the crank, as after dinner conversation, until the ice cream set.  Luckily, the ice cream maker in my childhood home was electric.  Today’s machines are much more compact and easy to work with.  For camp fun, you can try this Play and Freeze version where you use the energy of your kids to do the work.

Here is another how to video which makes a batch of both French and classic American ice cream.

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THE HISTORY of newspapers and journals in Telugu, as in other languages, is a saga of sacrifice and devotion to nationalist ideals. Profit or other commercial aspects never were dominant considerations. Even the rare example of a financially successful venture like the Andhra Patrika can be said to have done so more due to the affection of the Andhra people to the newspaper than any other consideration.

There were some journals earlier but Andhra Patrika, started as a periodical in Bombay in 1908 soon became popular because the founder, P. K. Nageswara Rao Pantulu, himself an eminent scholar, sent copies free to libraries and reading rooms all over Andhra. The contents of the periodical reflect the history of Telugu during the 20th century. The Patrika was shifted to Madras in 1914 and became a daily. On Nageswara Raos death in 1938, his son-in-law, Sambu Prasad, took over. In 1965 it was again shifted to Vijayawada. The paper was dominant in spreading Gandhijis ideals in the nooks and corners of Andhra. The memory of Andhra Patrika remains a matter of pride to Telugus.

Apart from nationalist ideals, one other subject that occupied the attention of the founders of Telugu newspapers was the style of the language. There were simple styles as in Vemanas verses or the Sumathi Satakam. Even Pothanas Bhaghavatham can be said to be in a simple style of Telugu, compared to poets like Nannaya, or Srinatha. But grammarians, especially during the 19th century, locked up the language in an ununderstandable literary straight jacket that caused a large-scale revolt in the early 20th century. The most notable of the scholars who led this movement were Gurjada Apparao and Gidugu Ramamurthi. Their main rival was the Parishat Patrika, in which such eminent scholars as Jayanti Ramayya Pantulu, Veeresalingam, Vedam Venkatraya Sastri and others stoutly opposed what they felt was debasing the language in the name of simplification. Their fears to some extent have been justified by the success of the votaries of ``as we speak we write. Some sort of poetic justice can be seen in the writings of these people which, submerged in an ocean of colloquialism, make little sense to Telugu readers themselves and can be understood only if translated into better Telugu or even into English. There have been many other newspapers and periodicals that came to prominence in the first half of the 20th century. Some of these are - Krishna Patrika, Golconda Patrika, Andhra Prabha, Andhra Sahitya Parishat Patrika, and Bharathi (monthly). Nearly a hundred names are to be found in the list of the newspapers and periodicals of the 20th century.

The author has highlighted many facts about the founding of the journals. They had no commercial basis at all. Profit was not the motive. In fact some of the newspapers of those days had to be closed for want of funds. This is a book that is sure to make its readers study the subject in more detail.



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